Once again my trainer pressed his finger on the pulse. Saturday he mentioned how I once couldn’t have talked to a guy like him, muscular and masculine. It’s brought up a lot and I’ve been reflecting on it. Yes I’ve come really far, but this morning I realized it was full circle.
I had forgotten that in the summer of ‘73, before 9th grade the first person I came out to was Drew. He was the biggest, most muscular jock in my class.
How can that be?
By junior high I had pretty much grown around my issues, hating myself slid into standby mode. I was approaching the world with confidence. I didn’t feel like I belonged, but I noticed a lot of guys didn’t, yes I was glancing at a common humanity! I believed I would find a place for myself.
I was searching for other gay guys. I rode for miles to an all men’s college hoping there would be some Gay Liberation notices on the bulletin boards (there weren’t).
Then there was Drew. Everything about him was huge, but what intrigued me was what seemed like a huge contradiction. This mountain of muscle was into singing and dancing! Hey I was 14, it was the dark ages, I believed the stereotype that gays gravitated to the theater.
I was never going to meet anyone by being quiet and safe. I called him and asked him to come to a park near his house. I didn’t know what to say so I just blurted out “I’m a homosexual”. Not quite a pick up line. He suggested I talk to a minister or a doctor. He also said when he has something troubling him he runs or lifts weight. Obviously I was disappointed. But my biggest regret is I wish I would have asked him how do you start working out.
Shortly after that I was molested in the theater. That horrible night was a slingshot back deep into my self hatred. Shame and guilt festered. It convinced me I was pathetic. My place in the world was dark and crusty. I wouldn’t see how I was brave and courageous until just a few weeks ago. But that’s even a longer story.